Just For Fun · Personal

2018 – Year In Books

2018 year in books

Number Of Books You Read: 43!!
Number of Re-Reads: 2
Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy

1. Best Book You Read In 2018?
ILLUMINAE

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

This is a difficult one… I think I was really looking forward to Vengeful and while it was amazing, I re-read Vicious just before and that is a perfect, PERFECT book. I adore it so much. Every line is so well crafted, and I felt like because of her million deadlines, the author couldn’t afford as much time on the sequel.

Lifelike wasn’t as amazing as I wanted it to be.

Also Daughter of the Burning City – I DNF’d that 😦

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?

Illuminae – I didn’t think I’d enjoy the format but it was incredible

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

Illuminae…. I’m very very persuasive when it comes to shit like that lol

5. Best series you started in 2018? Best Sequel of 2018? Best Series Ender of 2018?

Best series:  Nevernight / Illuminae

Best Sequel: Gemina

Best Series Ender: Obsidio (broken record much?!)

Also I didn’t actually read that many series this year. What with client books and reading friends’ MS (omg amazing) I didn’t delve into the series that are out there.

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2018?

JAY. MOTHERFUCKING. KRISTOFF.

HOLLY. GODDAMN. BLACK.

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I would say 7 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, because it’s an adult sci-fi / mystery set in the 1920s? I think, so that was incredibly different to what I usually read.

8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

Guess.

(*whispers* Illuminae)

9. Book You Read In 2018 That You Would Be MOST Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Illuminae.

Temper by Layne Fargo (getting a physical copy!)

The Fever King by Victoria Lee (again, physical copy!)

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2018?

Daughter of the Burning City  City of Ghosts   Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2)

11. Most memorable character of 2018?

Mia Corvere! from Nevernight

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2018?

Erm… most were pretty damn good but I don’t know whether anyone could be called “Beautiful”. The most impressive, line by line writing was my re-read of Vicious.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2018?

This question is difficult, especially since it presumes the type of book I read will actually contain life-altering themes when in reality I’m all about VILLAINS. SWORDS. HURRAH.

Jay Kristoff’s inspire me to write more like how I feel, so I would say his books did that.

14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2018 to finally read?

NEVERNIGHT / ILLUMINAE / CINDER / THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2018?

“The books we love, they love us back. And just as we mark our places in the pages, those pages leave their marks on us. I can see it in you, sure as I see it in me. You’re a daughter of the words. A girl with a story to tell.” – Nevernight

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2018?

Shortest: Pagan Portals – Odin at 122 pages

Longest: GEMINA at 659 pages

17. Book That Shocked You The Most
Possibly Illuminae – again – because of a twist.

And probably Godsgrave, with that twist too.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Tana and Gavriel from COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN

Kady and Ezra / Nik and Ezra from ILLUMINAE FILES

Mia and Aislynn (before Aislynn went boring) NEVERNIGHT/GODSGRAVE

Lemon / Gabe from LIFELIKE

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Eli and Victor from Vicious (although I really, really do ship it)

Cricket and Eve from Lifelike

Lemon and Eve from Lifelike

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2018 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Vengeful by VE Schwab

21. Best Book You Read In 2018 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure/Bookstagram, Etc.:

Erm… none, I wanted to read all of them because of various things.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2018?

Gavriel ❤

23. Best 2018 debut you read?

I didn’t read many debuts BUT I can highly recommend TEMPER by Layne Fargo and THE FEVER KING by Victoria Lee

24. Best Worldbuilding / Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

Lifelike had pretty good world-building, and Bear and the Nightingale made me feel cold as shit – that’s some good world-building.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

NEVERNIIIIIIIIIGHT *song of joy*

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2018?

This year was not a year of emotion for me! Usually books can really get me in a way no other medium can, but only Illuminae made me cry.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Coldest Girl in Coldtown – literally nobody recommended this to me, it was all Cruel Prince! Cruel Prince! But this was amazing.

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

None 😦 they were all so kind to me

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2018?

Dracula, in that it bored me to fucking tears and was in diary entry.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

 

LOOKING AHEAD

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2018 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2019?

STRANGE THE DREAMER – I borrowed it from Lexi! Need to read it!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2019 (non-debut)?

KING. OF. SCARS.

AURORA

WE SET THE DARK ON FIRE

3. 2019 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

TEMPER – LAYNE FARGO

THE FEVER KING – VICTORIA LEE

THE DEVOURING GRAY

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2019?

DARKDAWN by Jay Kristoff

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2019?

I’d LOVE to read more full books, instead of DNFing a few – I managed 43 including DNF at various stages, so I want to put another book in when I choose to DNF.

6. A 2019 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone (if applicable):

Alas…. none (yet!) but I’m reading WICKED SAINTS and it’s so good so far!

editing · Personal · Random Musings

It’s been a while!

Wow. Well.

It’s been a while since I blogged here, but I have an excuse! Several, in fact.

Image result for excuse gif

The main thing is that I have been Adulting, which means trying to organise bills, get money to pay bills, and generally working hard. I’ve been working on my WIP, handling my new diet (I turned Vegan and oh my god I didn’t realise how lactose intolerant I was before this) and health regime.

It’s been a struggle over the last two months, but generally I feel a lot more positive and stronger because of the hard amount of work I’ve done. I’ve had good news, some bad news, but overall it’s been worth it.

The bad news is mostly my reading slump – starting new books only to get brain-drained and end up wanting to do nothing but sleep before bed, rather than read. But since re-reading Vicious (on the last 30%!) I’m hopeful my slump will recover and I can review more books.

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I recently finished Final Draft, of which I should review for you all. And I’m still going strong on my editing services! I now provide proofreading, so if anyone would like proofreading or developmental edits let me know.

The website where most of the information is at is here – https://jadewritesbooks.wixsite.com/mysite-1

Doesn’t it look pretty?! I love the background.

Thanks for bearing with me, all, and I look forward to discussing books and writing with you all again!

Friends · Personal · Random Musings

One Lovely Blog Award!

PictureYay! I was nominated for the “One Lovely Blog Award” by the lovely Micaela Eagle! I met Micaela during Pitch Wars in 2016, and we continue to regularly connect on Twitter about the writing trenches.

PitchWars was a fun time, with constant gif parties and endless support which seems to keep on going! So, according to the rules, I have to put 7 facts about me you wouldn’t know from my bio, and link to the referrer’s blog!

The Wonderful Micaela Eagle!

PictureI am a Native Texan, currently living and teaching in the south portion of the Lone Star State.  I lead a new generation of “Theatre Weirdos” and love every minute of it.

I have always been an avid reader and I come by it honestly – my mother and grandmother always had books in their hands when I was growing up. They are the ones responsible for getting my nose stuck between the pages of a good book for hours at a time. I feel blessed to say I have had the same influence on some of my nieces and nephews.

I have been writing stories since I was very young. I’ve always said someday I would write a book. And now I can say I have – I’ve written two actually. (Infected’s sequel is already in the editing process.)

The only person is who gets annoyed by my hours of writing and reading on end is my Miniature Schnauzer, Hanes. He has to remind his Momma that bathroom breaks and food are necessary…not just for him but for her too.

Read more on Micaela’s blog and website HERE

Seven Things About Me That Aren’t in my Bio

  1. It took me 10 years to write my first novel, an Urban Fantasy set in my home town (in my defense, I was travelling and at Uni for most of that)
  2. While I never used to have a fear of anything like it, I HATE Zombies. I can’t stand any programme or story that involves them. Nope.
  3. Despite this, I know precisely what I’d do in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
  4. I was essentially homeless for about 4 months in 2007 before we finally found a house to rent.
  5. I love swimming, but I have a fear of open water – go figure – and boats, because apparently (and I forgot this) I was knocked from a pedal boat into the lake in the park. My dad told me about it years later.
  6. My favourite pudding is hot chocolate fudge cake, preferably with gooey sauce, and ice cream. Hot and cold puddings are my weakness.
  7. My ideas book currently stands at 35 individual ideas and counting

The Rules for the Nominees

When you get his award, thank the person who nominated you and link their blog

Add the One Lovely Blog Award to your post!

Share 7 things about yourself that are not in your Bio.

Pass this on to as many people as you like (max 15).

Include this set of rules.

Inform your nominees.

ALRIGHT! Nominees, who I will inform individually anywho – Angel @ Avid Reader, Kaelan Rhywiol, Faith Rivens, Alex Harrow, Tristen Van De Berg, Anna Mercier and Nicolette Elzie!

Personal · positive posts

Productivity Positivity! Week 30th Jan 17

OK! So this is the bullet list of what I achieved this week to give me some hope that I wasn’t entirely useless.

WRITERLY THINGS

  • Visited WriteOnCon! It was fantastic. Amazing agents responded to questions I had, I watched lots of good information and read a few great blog posts. Shame the site went down for the first day, but I’ll definitely check it out again next year.
  • On the same con’s forums, I had some handy feedback to snip up my query and get it done to a standard I was happy with.
  • Of course, I’m still not happy with it but I don’t think I ever will be 100%
  • Actually sent out some queries – even though it took me about half an hour to build up the courage to press send like it was a red button for destruction.
  • Read AMAZING BOOKS. Raven Boys ❤ Stole my heart. I also started reading ONE OF US IS LYING by Karen McManus and THE BLAZING STAR by Imani Josey.
  • Wrote some reviews of the awesome books I read
  • Finished reading chapters for one of my amazing CPs.
  • Drew little bits of character inspiration for my non-hero idea

NON WRITERLY THINGS

  • Went to the Doctor’s and had a blood test.
  • Made some AWESOME SOUP seriously it was delicious
  • Made cake!
  • Watched The Monuments Men, London Has Fallen and Midnight Special. None particularly wowed me though Midnight Special had so much potential and I think all the budget went on the last 10 minutes.
jade hemming · Personal · Random Musings

Quitting, and other things

So this will be a more personal blog post (a review of Angelfall will be on shortly!) but I felt I had to share this. In an unexpected twist, which I presume will be the theme of 2017, I came to the end of my tether. In short:

I quit my job today.

In a climate where employers feel workers need them more than they need us, the tendency for bosses and line managers to increase demand and damn the consequences seem to be increasing.

Such demands can overwhelm workers, especially in a small environment. Especially unreasonable demands, such as the one I was given today – complete 15+ large bill reports (some £700) within an hour deadline.

I wasn’t given an ultimatum, such as “do this or you’re fired”, or a reason why it had to be done before that time. I presumed it was because we had a large backlog. Understandable that we were behind, seeing as I was promised help to deal with the 180 bills left over from Christmas holidays only to be lumbered with it all myself. Understandable even more so, that on my own and working 4 x 4 hour days, I couldn’t complete all of it in record-speed if they wanted the bills to be accurately reported.

I was there for all of 4 months and the pressure and unrealistic stress of what shouldn’t be a stressful job – billing admin, I mean hello?! – built up from the second month. On top of that – harsh, clipped, and not even passively aggressive emails in bolded red letters were sent dragging myself and the person who trained me for half a day through the mud for a mistake neither of us knew was a mistake. This only served to tip my mood over the edge.

Having been diagnosed with anxiety and mild depression last year, just before I started this job, I was pleased I would be only working part time in a non-stressful environment. It seemed ideal to both recover from my operation and manage the diagnosis of my mental health on a flexible basis. But that wasn’t to be.

I found my behaviour and mood slipping with every amounting pressure the bosses placed on me.

I should have heeded the warning signs the moment the company’s boss, in the final interview, gave me unsolicited advice in how to sell or promote my future books, saying I should hire a teenager to claim they wrote them for me. He was so serious, when I tried to explain he spoke over me. I’ve never been so brazenly mansplained to about a subject a man knew nothing about, but hey, I thought – he’ll be in another office. I won’t deal with him much.

And I didn’t. but you know the saying – shit rolls downhill. And his business partner, a female, is very much worse. I don’t like to reduce such angry or deep mood swings to something trivial, but her conduct was so angry I hoped it was the understandable trouble of being hormone related, rather than an active choice for her to be treat her employees with so little respect. The fact her anger and aggression pours out in every email and she’s a home worker is enough to make me ridiculously glad I wasn’t there when she was office-based.

I never like quitting jobs. I didn’t quit Uni in my first year, even when I felt myself spiralling downhill half way through. I always tell myself I’m made of stronger stuff, which I am. I’ve been through enough to know I’m worth more than how they treated me, and I’m not afraid to walk away from those situations, even though I may walk into unsteady times.

My mantra is this – do no harm, but take no shit. Know where your limits are, and if you near them, don’t be afraid of turning away and removing yourself from a toxic situation. Nothing is worth the mental or physical stress unrealistic expectations and aggressive bosses place on people, let alone other employees.

I have every faith I’ll find a situation which suits me so much better. In the mean time, I’m going to take every opportunity to recover my health, find what works for me, and enjoy writing / reading til my little heart’s content.